I think I have been on a zillion home inspections with home buyers. Sometimes home buyers have a friend or relative who has a background in construction or who is a handyman or contractor conduct a home inspection.
What could possibly go wrong? Usually, these helpful friends or relatives miss a few important things. They don’t check the furnace or the water heater. They miss the fact the garbage disposal doesn’t work or that the new furnace does not have a filter in it.
They might not notice missing window screens or even cracked window glass. They may miss the gaps between the showe
r surround and the bathroom wall, or that the back door lacks any kind of weather stripping.
The helpful and knowledgeable friend does not use a systematic approach nor does he give the home buyer a report with pictures and recommendations. Usually the friend does an incomplete or partial inspection. If they are not familiar with the older houses in the inner city they may not know what some of the common problems are like ungrounded electrical systems and tree roots in sewer systems.
On the one hand, the buyer saves money because professional inspectors will generally charge at least $300. On the other hand, they may end up paying for repairs that they could have had the seller pay for if they had known about them during the inspection period.